Congress Gives $50.5 Million to Treat Drug Addiction in Afghanistan Amidst US Opioid Epidemic

A question that every American citizen needs to be asking of every member of Congress is who is more important – American citizens or foreigners.

With the current controversy over illegal immigration and securing the southern border with Mexico, it seems that many Democrats and even some Republicans, act as if foreigners are more important than American citizens. Thanks to liberal politicians, many illegal aliens receive free healthcare, free education, welfare, food stamps and a host of other benefits, many of which American citizens don’t get. Instead, legal American citizens are the ones paying for all of the free benefits that illegal aliens are given.

I know of a man who was told to train a newly hired employee how to do his job. During that training, he learned that the new hire was an illegal alien. After a month of training, the man was laid off and his job went to the illegal alien he had trained. That’s when he turned the employer in to law enforcement, who arrested and detained the illegal alien and fined the employer. Believe it or not, the American citizen was made out to be the bad guy, making it difficult for him to get employment in the area.

But what about American citizens in need versus citizens in other countries? Who should Congress focus on?

Specifically, how should Congress respond to the opioid epidemic that has been devastating many American families? Just today on the local news, I heard that police in the Cincinnati area responded to 24 overdose calls in just one day. They said the spike in overdose cases is not due to abuse of prescription drugs but due to illegal heroin being laced with illegal fentanyl, a narcotic more powerful than heroin and more addictive than heroin.

Shouldn’t Congress be focusing on how to reduce the illegal drug trade and even providing help for drug addicts?

One would think so, but that hasn’t necessarily been the case as reported:

In the midst of an opioid epidemic in the United States, the government has blown tens of millions of dollars to treat drug addiction in Afghanistan and has no clue if the programs are working. Since 2002 American taxpayers have doled out an eye-popping $9 billion to counter drug production in the Islamic nation, the world’s top opium producer. The money largely flows through the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). As part of the broader effort, Uncle Sam spent $50.5 million on dozens of drug treatment programs between 2013 and 2018. The treatment projects are implemented by the United Nations on Drugs and a cooperative for economic and social development in Asia and the Pacific known as Colombo Plan.

The problem is that, like many of these costly global initiatives, the U.S. government writes the big checks, but doesn’t bother following up to assure they’re effective. In this case, a report published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) slams the government for failing to monitor or evaluate the performance of its drug addiction projects in Afghanistan, writing that the State Department  “does not know the impact to date of its investment.” Furthermore, the State Department didn’t even bother to conduct site visits to project locations and failed to maintain files or records required under agency rules. “Because INL has not evaluated the performance of its projects, INL cannot determine the progress or impact its drug treatment projects have had,” the report says.

The watchdog offers background information that explains why the U.S. is throwing so much money at this issue. Besides being a world-renowned producer of opium, Afghanistan has among the world’s highest per capita rates of drug users, between 2.9 million and 3.6 million. Among the favorite drugs are opium and heroin and around 31% of all Afghan households have at least one member who uses drugs. The State Department has tried to justify funding projects to counter the problem by pointing out that drug addiction causes a wide range of detrimental societal effects beyond health and welfare, including undermining economic development, reducing social and political stability and diminishing security. “To that end, the U.S. government has spent $8.9 billion on counter narcotics efforts” in Afghanistan, the new audit reveals.

Just think of how many Americans struggling with drug addiction that could have been helped here with money Congress spent on helping addicts in Afghanistan. Congress refuses to fund building a border wall that would cut down on the flow of illegal heroin and fentanyl into the United States, but they have blindly given to foreign governments and agencies with little to no accountability.

Isn’t it time that we elect men and women who will put American citizens first and foremost in their agendas?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright Listabilities, LLC 2018, all rights reserved